New School Meals Bills Introduced in Congress
- Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-MN) introduced H.R. 3220, the Kids Eat Local Act. The bill will allow schools to use geographic preference when procuring unprocessed agricultural products.
- Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) introduced S. 1918, the Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act of 2019. The bill proposes two alternative options states can utilize through the program. The first would allow for meals to be consumed off-site through innovative means like mobile feeding programs and backpack meal programs. The other option would authorize the summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program, which would provide eligible families $30 per summer month per child, with a maximum of $100 per child per year, to purchase eligible food items from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) approved retailers.
- Rep. Jon Wright (R-TX) introduced H.R. 3291, the SNACKS Act. The bill would allow schools to sell a la carte any food that can be served as part of a reimbursable meal under the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs.
- Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced S. 1907 and H.R. 3366, the No Shame at School Act. The bill would prohibit public schools from shaming students who are unable to pay for school meals or who have outstanding debt. Additionally, the measure requires schools to certify a child’s unpaid meal fees and authorizes the federal government to reimburse the meals for up to 90 days.
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced S. 1908, the Summer Meals Act of 2019. The bill would expand access to summer meal programs by reducing regulatory burdens for local organization serving summer meals and expanding the availability of meals and snacks to students outside of normal school hours.